Letter to the Editor: Interviews and inaccuracies

Kathleen Boddicker / Director, The Learning Center

Dear Editor,

 I would like to respond to an article written in last week’s Round-Up, entitled, “Tips and Tricks or Conscientious Effort,” by Elliot Golan.   As I read the article last week, I noticed several inaccuracies that I believe should be brought to your attention. 

 Despite the fact that I was unavailable to meet with Elliot on such short notice, I suggested that he stop by the Learning Center to speak to my staff and perhaps review the form we hand-out during classroom presentations as a way to obtain information about the process of tutoring, but my staff informs me that he did not come.    

I didn’t realize that I was being interviewed when he called to set-up an interview (which I was not able to make), and the quote he “obtained” from me is taken out of context.  Had he and I had the opportunity to discuss the purpose of this article, I would have given him information relative to the processes of learning that we try to convey to students.  Such examples would have included ways to contextualize new information by first relating it to something you already know and then by applying it in a way that is meaningful and relevant to your course of study or ultimate goal.  I do believe that students should not rely upon services such as tutoring as a “quick fix,” but should instead incorporate the services into their typical studying routines that they pursue with consistency.  We (TLC) see learning as fundamentally collaborative, and our goal in tutoring is to help clarify concepts from the content areas and help students apply these concepts to their own work.  Ultimately, it is our goal to help students become independent (and hopefully lifelong) learners.  The process of learning is multifaceted and must take into account an individual’s background including experience, learning style, level of motivation and interest, mitigating factors (like hours worked per week in addition to hours required for school), entry-level skills, language proficiency, etc., and must be viewed in context on an individual basis.  There is much more, and as you can see, had he and I met, I could have given him a more comprehensive response that would perhaps have conveyed our view on this topic.  Instead, his sources were all from outside of our center (which in and of itself is not a problem, but the article seems to point to TLC as a focus).

The other issue is that he posted our hours incorrectly;  Tutoring (TLC 1613) is open from 9am – 7:00pm, Monday through Friday.  The Computer Lab (TLC 1604) is open from 8:00am – 7:00pm, Monday through Thursday.  Both are closed on Fridays.

In the future, I hope your writers will plan for more time to properly interview people (whom they have contacted and from whom they have requested an interview) before submitting information for articles that you publish in your paper

Thank you,

Kathleen Boddicker,

Director, The Learning Center


Editors Note: The letter, originally emailed to the Roundup on Oct. 1, was posted late after having been lost in transition between editors.